This Women’s History Month, we wanted to take a look at some of the best female artists from around the world to add to your playlist. Here at Encore, we look to commemorate the excellence of female musicians during this month of celebration and beyond.
Toshiko Akiyoshi – After You’ve Gone
Toshiko Akiyoshi was born in Manchuria in 1929 to Japanese parents. After World War II, the family was forced out of China and back to Japan. Here, Toshiko was really able to get her professional start. Having experience playing the piano, she took opportunities playing in clubs for both the locals and the soldiers that were still in Japan. As Toshiko got further into her jazz career, she decided to move to the States to study at Berklee School of Music in Boston. From here, she branched out musically and moved all around the country, becoming one of the most famous female jazz artists in the world. Click here to explore Encore’s musical journeys to Japan!
Sonita Alizadeh – Daughters for Sale
Sonita Alizadeh is an Afghan rapper who discusses human rights issues, specifically speaking about the rights of women. She often discusses the extreme lack of equality between the genders, rooted in her own experiences growing up. One of her most moving songs, Daughters for Sale, talks of selling young girls into marriage – an inhumane reality she almost lived. This song catapulted her into fame, her fans rallying behind her to sponsor her move to the United States. She fled to the U.S. to finish out her high school career and attend college. Sonita has since become a figurehead in the international fight for equality, proving that women are so much more than a wife to be bought,
Jamala – 1944
Jamala is a Ukrainian musician with a plethora of musical talents. She sings in many styles, from opera to folk and even composes music. Her song 1944 is one of her original compositions, and this composition won her the 2016 Eurovision contest in Sweden. The song’s lyrics speak of the Deportation of the Crimean Tartars, stemming from the stories and experiences of Jamala’s grandmother. At the time of the competition, she had four full albums released, dating back to 2011. She has since released 5 more albums, boasting an impressive discography of music. Jamala showed the world how talented female musicians are and how many use their platform for more than just fame.
Nia Archives – Conveniency
Hailing from England, Nia Archives is an up-and-coming artist in the dance/electronic music world. She specifically creates music in the Jungle genre. This style of music came out of the UK rave scene beginning in the 1990s. Nia has really solidified her place in this genre since moving to London, the cultural center for the UK rave scene as a whole. Throughout her rise to fame, she experienced prejudice based on her skin color and gender. She uses her platform to speak out against this type of treatment and condemn the misogynistic tendencies of the music industry. Click here to see how you can travel to London to learn about the city’s music scene!
Jain – Come
Jain is a worldly artist, having lived all over the world during her life. She was born in Toulouse, but her father’s work brought her family to many different places, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Congo. Her exposure to so many unique cultures can be felt in her music. She blends Pop and Afrobeat, taking inspiration from Rap and Bollywood music as well. Jain’s music is influenced by her environment, so her experiences around the world are a key element to what she creates. Looking to do a music-based trip with Encore? Click here to view our sample itineraries from around the world!
Vivir Quintana – Canción Sin Miedo
Vivir Quintana is a Mexican singer and guitar player, as well as female rights activist. She blends Folk music and Mexican Regional music with her captivating lyrics. She’ll often sing of themes such as love and life, but her most powerful songs concern discrimination against women. Her composition and performance of “Canción Sin Miedo” has become her biggest contribution to the music world. This song addresses violence against women and the femicides that plague the news. Vivir uses her platform to build awareness of the dangers women face in the modern world, looking to inspire a much needed change through her music. This song has become a staple in modern feminism, and Vivir has solidified her name as a feminist powerhouse in music.
RAYE – Thrill is Gone
British singer RAYE has gained exponential popularity since declaring herself an independent artist back in July 2021. She has since released her first studio album this past February. My 21st Century Blues is full of hits – Her single “Escapism,” featuring 070 Shake, became a quick favorite on TikTok and hit the number on spot on the UK Singles Chart. This album outlines the pains of a breakup, yet the strength that a woman can gain through heartbreak. While she writes her own works, she also writes for huge names in music, including Beyonce, Ellie Goulding and Little Mix. Interested in exploring the music of the UK? Click here to travel with Encore!
Marta Sánchez – De Mujer a Mujer
Marta Sánchez was born in Madrid, Spain and was brought up around music, her father being an accomplished opera singer. She started her music career working with bands, but eventually launched her solo career in 1991. Her first solo album, Mujer, came out in 1993, and was one of the first ever Latin albums to be translated into English and rereleased, done so under the name Woman. The three pre-released singles from Mujer are what really catapulted her into fame. “De Mujer a Mujer” created the household name phenomenon for Marta and she has sat comfortably in her fame ever since. She has become a notable figure in the Spanish music scene and beyond. To find out more about bringing you ensemble to Spain click here!
Renata Flores – Chanan Cori Coca
Renata Flores in making waves in the way of culturally empowered music. Coming from Peru, she looks to connect to and bring awareness to her Indigenous Quechuan culture. She sings primarily in the native Quechuan language as a form of cultural reclamation. In Peru, there is a huge stigma associated with native culture and language, so Renata wants to fight this discrimination through her music. This is especially a feat for a female artist in Peru. She brings a female perspective to her art and puts women in the forefront of the stories she tells. Renata’s music is a beautiful blend of Peru’s indigenous culture with modern rap style. Click here for more information on how to take a musical tour with Encore!
OHNODY – Hideg
OHNODY is a Hungarian artist currently based in Budapest. The name actually represents a project by the musician Dori Hegyi, as she uses this alias to produce music outside of her normal discipline. She works to create an ethereal sound, using her light vocals married with otherworldly tracks to evoke deep emotion in the listener. She is loyal to her native language, producing all of her music in Hungarian. Outside of the OHNODY project, Dori is an accomplished choir singer and songwriter for other artists. Curious about the music of Hungary? Click here to learn how to explore the country with Encore!
We want to call attention to the impact that female musicians have had on our modern world of music. At Encore, we love to encourage learning and experiencing music through travel. All of the itineraries provided in this article are sample ideas to get you and your ensemble started. Every trip we do is custom fit to you and your group to provide you with the best performances and experiences possible. Please visit our website at www.encoretours.com to learn more!